Although you may know him from television’s “The Vampire Diaries” or “Saving Hope” or a handful of other mainstream motion pictures (“Spider-Man 2”)–Daniel Gillies’ restless talent ventures beyond dedicated, capable acting turns (see 2006’s “The Sensation of Sight” with David Strathairn). He is a passionate cinema connoisseur who dared to make an indie film (his first, hopefully not his last, 2010’s “Broken Kingdom”).
From the genesis of the idea to the physical and mental realities of actual locations and filming (in the case of “Broken Kingdom,” the varied landscape of Bogota, Colombia)–writing and directing a movie independent of studio static takes a will of granite. It demands a specific anarchic determination, a capacity for humility that both strengthens and levels the human spirit, and immeasurable hubris.
Gillies and I spoke at length on the phone (he in the Valley, sans trousers due to the heat and me in my apartment in Hollywood, sitting Indian style on my floor scribbling notes). We spoke of John Cassavetes, Wong Kar Wei, P. T. Anderson (both of us agreed we should be at a theater watching Anderson’s “The Master”) and a handful of other auteurs (Terrence Malick and Gus Van Sant) that influenced “Broken Kingdom.”